Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scrabble in the Future

I just finished reading The Handmaid's Tale, a really terrifying book about a near-future totalitarian regime in which women are basically slaves and they aren't allowed to read or write. While I've said before that people should be able to separate sex and love, this is a society where that's been done to a ridiculous extreme-- to the point of eliminating love altogether. Yikes! Even though it's scary, it's a great book and I read the whole thing in 2 days, which is very rare for me. It has a lot to say about sexual politics, but after I wrote an entry about asexuals liking Scrabble, I just had to post this quote from the book. In it, the handmaid/narrator is summoned by the master of the household. They're alone together, which is against the law:

What had I been expecting, behind that closed door, the first time? Something unspeakable, down on all fours perhaps, perversions, whips, mutilations? At the very least some minor sexual manipulation, some bygone peccadillo now denied him, prohibited by law and punishable by amputation. To be asked to play Scrabble, instead, as if we were an old married couple, or two children, seemed kinky in the extreme, a violation in its own way.
-155

It's funny how things depend on the situation...and I hope this was a silly-enough silly post!

6 comments:

Superquail said...

The whole Scrabble scene in that book is really weird. It shows how the man of the household, who supposedly has everything, control of everything and everyone, is kind of stuck in the middle of a hollow victory. What he really wants is some kind of real companionship which he can't get from any of the women in his life because they are all completely afraid of him.

Because the narrator is a woman, we don't really see what life for men is like, but I imagine it isn't very warm and cuddly.

Ily said...

Hey SQ, thanks for all your comments! I think it's interesting how something we usually see as asexual (well, at least to those in the know) becomes somehow sexual in a different situation. Hmm!

Superquail said...

No problem, homes! I am here for you!

willendork said...

This is extra hilarious as a favorite professor suggested to me yesterday that we get some lunchtime Scrabble games going. I had no idea, ha ha!

p.s. I will write in the blog. I will. School starting = laaaame.

emma-rainbow said...

Oh, I wept through that book. So sad...

Gatto said...

http://www.vidlit.com/craziest/